Let us tell you a story…
Uplifting people and places in Weston-super-Mare through inspiring cultural initiatives
Culture Weston is a new partnership-led initiative that places culture at the heart of Weston-super-Mare’s daily life and future growth. It is led by North Somerset arts organisation Theatre Orchard, in collaboration with North Somerset Council, Arts Council England and the local community.
With its friendly community, playful heritage and bucket-fulls of opportunity ready to be shaped, Weston has so much to offer residents and visitors alike.
We will help to illuminate and develop all that makes Weston ‘super’ through offering advice and support, developing partnerships and collaborations and instigating new initiatives that can help forge an optimistic, people-powered future for this creative town.
The emerging cultural landscape is as broad and full of potential as the vast skies: its colours will mean something different to everyone. Culture can transform many different areas including health and well-being, regeneration and talent development, and we want to work together to create the right opportunities for you and for the town to thrive.
Weston’s glorious history as a Victorian Seaside Resort, abetted by the arrival of the railway in 1841, still shines through any stroll around the town. From the elegance of the Royal Crescent to the popular rows of Victorian villas, these archetypal examples of Victorian housing nestle into the wooded hillside where kestrels swoop from the quarried stone backdrop that gave rise to the town below.
In the town, architect Hans Price’s distinctive domestic and public buildings (created between 1860-1912) pepper the landscape with grandeur. Classical, gothic, moorish and flemish styles sit side by side, often with a twist of Bath stone cladding doffing a cheeky hat to the town’s Georgian neighbour.
Dropping down towards the seafront, Weston’s history as a spa town can still be felt in the bracing ‘air like wine’, with the expansive sandy vistas and broad skies providing further intoxication for the soul. Not one but two piers provide storybook settings where land and sea marvellously collide, with the original Birnbeck Pier (unique because it ends at an island) now set for restoration.
And the much-needed interwar focus on leisure and pleasure is manifest in the Marine Lake, the open-air pool at Tropicana and the Winter Gardens Pavilion, where you can still tea dance today.
Every town has its stories that wend together to create a new tale for the present, and culture and creativity can help to unlock all that lives and breathes beneath the surface, animating streets and spaces for a new generation.
Culture Weston looks forward to working with local people, places and North Somerset Council to do just that. Watch out for the High Streets Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme coming this way soon …
We believe that the arts and creative community can inspire and provoke conversations around climate change, and we have appointed a Green Champion to ensure that this commitment is at the forefront of our work.
At Culture Weston we share North Somerset’s bold vision of achieving a rapid reduction in carbon emissions and will aim to showcase a greener future in everything we do from our own work practices to an inspirational low carbon cultural programme.
We have a vision of Weston as a town built around sustainable values where residents and visitors alike can benefit from clean sea air, thought provoking culture and a deeper connection to nature.
As an organisation we aim to create a context where everyone has the opportunity to do their best work and feel fulfilled, no matter who they are, what they do or where they work.
We listen, respect, value input and then act. We are happy to take risks and learn from mistakes as part of our journey.
These principles are also manifest in how we build cultural opportunities for the town from a base of partnership. We seek to realise potential and celebrate difference, so that together we can build a cultural landscape that is inclusive across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status and disability.
Our diversity statement and the conversion of principles into active practise is reviewed by the Board of Trustees at each quarterly meeting.
Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy
At Culture Weston we are committed to the safe welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults in all the work we do, from online and live events to outreach and engagement. Our team of professional practitioners are trained in the latest safeguarding and child protection policies including those that apply across all digital platforms, to ensure that every experience we offer as part of our creative programme upholds safe practice within safe places. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries or concerns and for more information on the latest policies surrounding child safety, visit www.nspcc.org.uk
Culture Weston is only as good as the sum of its parts, and those parts are you! Conversations are the bedrock of how we grow our offer, so let us know what you think about culture in your town and what utopia is on your horizon.
Share your skills, learn new things, meet friends, and help us to realise those immortal words of James Brown to get the whole town dancing…
“Whoa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you.”